We support the health of mother and child

A midwife for you

Antenatal care services are free of charge. Expectant mothers can either go to the health care centre in their neighbourhood or choose another centre and register themselves there. 

Consultations and exams are offered from the start of pregnancy through to childbirth. The first consultation with a midwife usually takes place over the phone soon after pregnancy is confirmed, and then the first examination is scheduled. 

The number of antenatal exams depends on the circumstances. Usually women receive 7-10 exams. It is possible to have a phone consultation with a midwife between exams. 

Antenatal care is in the hands of midwives in collaboration with GPs at health care centres. The obstetricians of the health care centre are consulted if necessary. 

Information about the arrangement of antenatal care at your health care centre can be found on your centre’s homepage and on the services page of Heilsuvera.is

Solid foundation

The goal of antenatal care at the health care centres is:

  • to support the health of mother and child
  • to provide professional care, support and guidance
  • to detect risk factors and respond to them
  • to provide knowledge about pregnancy and birth
 

Classes

We offer a class in English on preparing for childbirth:

Exams in antenatal care

Once pregnancy is confirmed, it is good to contact a midwife at the health care centre and book an appointment for the first consultation and examination. The appointment is usually before 12 weeks of pregnancy.

In the first consultation, the midwife records general health information as well as previous pregnancy and birth history, if applicable. You can expect the first antenatal care appointment to last up to one hour.

It is estimated that a woman pregnant with her first child will have 10 examinations and a woman who has given birth before will have 7 examinations. The number of examinations during pregnancy can vary, however, depending on the woman’s needs and the midwife’s assessment at any given time. Each antenatal care appointment usually lasts 20-30 minutes. Older siblings are welcome to join.

At each visit, the midwife discusses your general health and well-being. Blood pressure is measured and urine protein is checked. The fetal heart rate is monitored from the 16-week examination onward, and the size of the uterus from the pubic bone to the end of the uterus is measured from the 25-week examination onward. At week 36, the baby’s position in the womb is assessed.

The needs of the expectant mother/parents are assessed at each examination and education and counselling is provided as appropriate at any given time.

Antenatal care provides opportunities to discuss and ask questions about topics such as well-being, diet, exercise, screenings during pregnancy, fetal tests, services available during pregnancy, choice of birthing location, childbirth, birth control, maternity leave, breastfeeding, post-birth care and more. 

There are a number of antenatal care screenings. The purpose of these screenings is to check if specific issues might affect the health of mother and baby during pregnancy. Issues screened for include anemia, hepatitis B and C, HIV, rubella and syphilis. Screening for Rhesus disease is also offered.

Ultrasounds and other foetal examinations are offered in collaboration with the Department of Foetal Diagnosis at the National Hospital.

 

Where should I turn if pain or problems arise during pregnancy?

It is normal for parents to have questions during pregnancy and it is possible to get answers to them in many places.

 

Heilsuvera.is

This website of the Health Care Centres of the Capital Area and Directorate of Health contains information about pregnancy, the changes that occur during pregnancy, well-being and complications of pregnancy. There, you can find answers to various inquiries and concerns about the pregnancy.

Your health care centre

At each health care centre, midwives, GPs and nurses are available by telephone and provide advice, information and answer questions. Many health care centres offer after-hours services on weekdays. It is also possible to send a question to midwives and doctors at the health care centre through My Pages on Heilsuvera.is.

Phone number 1770

Doctors are on-call from 17:00 to 8:00 every weekday and 24 hours a day on weekends. Those who are ill or in pain and are in need of advice and an examination outside of work-day hours can contact them by calling 1770.

Phone number 543-3049

The Maternity Ward at the National Hospital is open every day, 24 hours a day. If there is bleeding, waters break or signs of labour at 22 weeks of pregnancy or later, you can contact them.

112 Emergency number

Always contact the emergency number directly in the event of an emergency, accident or heavy bleeding.

 

Childbirth

The National Hospital has one maternity ward which takes care of all women giving birth from 22 weeks of gestation onward. Emphasis is placed on promoting normal births. The maternity ward also cares for women who need specialised care during childbirth.

The National Hospital’s website, www.landspitali.is, contains videos that introduce childbirth services and show the hospital’s labour ward and postnatal ward.

A midwife in the antenatal care department can provide information on choosing a birthing location, and women who are considering a home birth can get more information from their antenatal care midwife.

 

Well-child care

When the midwives’ home care service ends or when the family returns home after a longer stay in the post-natal ward, the well-child care team takes over. Well-child care begins with a home visit.

Well-child care service is divided into districts and parents go to the health care centre that serves their district. It’s a good idea to let the well-child care department at your health care centre know when the family returns home after childbirth.  

Read more about the health care centres’ well-child care

Classes on childbirth and breastfeeding

We offer these classes in Icelandic.

Various other classes are offered by independently operated companies. Antenatal care midwives can provide more information about those. 

 

Did you find the content helpful?

Yes

Why not?